Pride Foundation Programs
Pride Foundation provides post-secondary educational scholarships to current and future leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
Since the program began in 1993, donors and volunteers have helped Pride Foundation award over $3 million to nearly 1,200 scholars – making it one of the largest LGBTQ scholarship programs in the country.
Pride Foundation Community Grants Program seeks to fund proposed ideas, projects, and strategies from community organizations as they work toward enhancing the lives and addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth, adults, and families by positively impacting local communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
Pride Foundation Fellowship Program seeks to cultivate leaders and strengthen the Northwest LGBTQ community. This fellowship experience will provide an opportunity for professional development as well as an introduction to the work of community leadership organizations by matching exceptional Pride Foundation Scholarship recipients and other LGBTQ and ally students with Pride Foundation grantees and other organizations committed to LGBTQ equality.
Pride Foundation Fellows will have the opportunity to work with select Northwest non-profit organizations on various projects, events, and programs that have a positive impact on the LGBTQ community. Applicants will be asked to rank their top choices to help the selection committee determine eligible matches. Pride Foundation Fellows are paid a $3,500 stipend for their work. The stipend is divided into three payments over the summer. Fellows are expected to commit to 200 hours of work at their internship site (20 hours per week for 10 weeks).
Queer Youth Initiative:
The Queer Youth Initiative helps LGBTQ youth centers become more sustainable in their missions through consulting, training, coaching, and special funding. We are partnering with TACS to make sure these groups are getting the specialized training they need to be effective in their mission and also strengthen their infrastructure. All groups who participate will also be eligible for special funding.
Racial Equity Initiative:
The Racial Equity Initiative addresses the funding inequities that LGBTQ organizations that are run by and for People of Color have historically faced, and to simultaneously increase their ability to help their communities.
This project employs three key strategies to strengthen these organizations—build a supportive cohort, provide relevant training and skill building and then provide funding to implement what they have learned. The Racial Equity Initiative is part of a national focus spearheaded by the Funders for LGBTQ Issues.
Bring Equality to the Workplace.
Pride Foundation uses our endowment for more than grants and scholarships; we also use it to bring equality to the companies in which we invest. To date we have worked with eleven companies to update their non-discrimination policies to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression. These changes have meant better protections for over 2.9 million workers worldwide. Pride Foundation began our shareholder advocacy work in 1997 with McDonald’s and General Electric. Since that time we have worked with WalMart, Emerson Electric, Expeditors and many more companies (a full list on our Website). Pride Foundation begins our work with companies by requesting in writing that they update their policies.
Homeless LGBTQ Youth Initiative:
In an effort to confront the growing challenge of youth homelessness and its disproportionate impact on LGBTQ youth, the Pride Foundation announced it has made grants to three of Washington State’s leading providers of youth services.
At this time, Pride Foundation will invest a combined $210,000 in the work of Northwest Youth Services (Bellingham, Wash.), Oasis Youth Center (Tacoma, Wash.), and Odyssey Youth Center (Spokane, Wash.).
Made possible through support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the new grants are part of Pride Foundation’s Homeless LGBTQ Youth Initiative, a four-year program designed to fund innovative, collaborative approaches addressing the unique needs of homeless LGBTQ youth in Washington State and Portland, Ore. The goal of the initiative is to build the capacity of service providers to address the needs of homeless LGBTQ youth and young adults (ages 12 to 25), especially youth living in more rural and remote communities.
“LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented among homeless youth, and may make up as much as 50 percent of the total homeless youth populations on any given night,” says Pride Foundation Executive Director Kris Hermanns.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Through Pride Foundation’s Community Grants Program we fund ideas, projects, and strategies from community organizations that are enhancing the lives and addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth, adults and families across the region. Our investments in organizations serving the LGBTQ community provide much-needed resources and capacity to a community that is vastly underrepresented in philanthropic giving. In 2013, we awarded a total of $298,859 to 74 organizations. We funded organizations working on a variety of issues of importance to the LGBTQ community—social and mental health support, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, domestic violence, transgender health, economic justice, healthcare and more.
While our grants program is one of our greatest successes, it is also an area that could be significantly expanded. There were 155 organizations that applied for a grant in our last cycle, and we were ultimately only able to give funding to 74 organizations. With increased support we could provide more grants to more organizations, allowing us to have a greater impact on the LGBTQ community. Additional resources would also allow us to provide further support to our volunteers and our community leaders. In a recent survey, 71.4 percent of our respondents noted an interest in free online trainings and educational sessions on issues affecting our LGBTQ community.